Writing Prompt Story Starter: Missing

story starter

It’s a Story Starter with a little help from my friends, this week!

As you know, the “Friend” team have been working from home since mid-March.

We’re following the advice from government closely, and at the time of writing, that means home working is the default position.

We remain open to submissions. You can find out more about how we’re keeping stories flowing here.

Some of the team were able to spend a little — socially-distanced — time together recently, when we got together to greet the Close Knit Friends bus as it arrived in Dundee, after it travelled the length of the UK, spreading smiles.

It certainly made us smile when we saw it!

On a more day-to-day basis, we’re keeping in touch online and on our phones throughout every working day.

Recently, Fiction Team’s Tracey got in touch to share a Facebook page she’d seen, which shares images similar to our story starters.

Tracey and Commissioning Illustrations Editor Manon got talking about one of the images they’d seen, similar to this one (above).

It’s an old photo Manon picked up, one of a batch she bought at a sale.

Could it help inspire a story idea for you this week?

Old photos. Sepia-toned. From the Victorian era, perhaps?

(Did you see the album of 19th-century photos taken by Captain Thomas Honywood on the news recently? The images are of people and scenes in Horsham, West Sussex. Absolutely amazing — like a window on a bygone time. And the faces in them are so interesting.)

Which leads us to this week’s story starter: a photo, missing a face.

Who is the lady in this photograph? What’s her story? Why did someone cut out her image? And where did it end up?

In a locket, perhaps? In a wallet? Or between the pages of a book?

Or perhaps your story could be on the theme of “missing”.

Missing . . . who? A loved one? A former home, school, or job? Missing in action?

The missing face could be seen as slightly spooky. And although our Hallowe’en stories are already scheduled, we look for stories for the “Friend” Annual all year round.

More on that to come soon.

Click here to pick out another Story Starter from Fiction Ed Lucy’s back catalogue!

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!